Pancake is sort of a westernized name for this South Indian breakfast/snack food. 'Adai' as it is called in Tamil Nadu, consists of rice, various lentils and beans ground with red or green chilies, cilantro, coconut, black pepper into a coarse mass. This is then spread thickly onto cast-iron griddles and cooked until reddish brown. This one is a healthier, fiber- and protein-rich recipe since it calls for sprouted lentils and mung bean. Our Indian vegetarian diet seemingly relies too much on empty carbohydartes while badly lacking in proteins. This recipe is one of the few exceptions- it is very filling without relying too much on carbohydrates like rice. You may have to start the sprouts 2-3 days before you want to make this.
I used a type of lentil called horsegram - no, it has no relationship to horses. The small brown French lentils will work well too. Mung beans were the second component. Both of these were soaked overnight separately, drained and sprouted.
Adai (serves 4-6)
1 cup Brown lentil sprouts
1 cup mung bean sprouts (I don't think the Chinese bean sprouts would work for this recipe)
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
3 serrano chilies or 3 dried red chilies
1/2 cup scallions, chopped (even shallots or onions will do)
1/2 cup spinach or other greens, finely minced (optional- add if you want more nutrition)
2 Tbsp cilantro, finely minced (optional)
1 tsp salt or more to taste
Grind sprouts with ginger and chilies into a coarse, thick batter.
Mix in salt, scallions, greens and cilantro.
Spread a ladleful of batter, thickly on a medium hot griddle. Add a tsp of oil around the pancake.
You do not need to make the hole in the middle. I do this 'coz my mom does it. Cook for about a minute on each side. The adai should be a rich, reddish brown. Serve hot with raita or coconut chutney. It is also great with my childhood favorite side-dish of ghee-sugar mixture (that is if you don't mind the calories).